WE WERE THERE: Harbour Festival fun for 53 years
ONE of the greatest events on the Gladstone entertainment calendar is the Gladstone Harbour Festival - and it's been that way for 53 years.
It all started in 1962, in the early years of the famous Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.
Hundreds of people gathered each year to watch the boats come in after their rapid, and in some cases not so rapid, trek along the coast.
The powers that be of the time decided it would be a great thing to hold an official welcome for the boats in true Gladstone fashion - with a party.
And so it began - on the back of a truck at the entrance to Central Park (now known as Anzac Park) on the corner of Goondoon and Tank Sts.
The festival grew like topsy and eventually moved to its present venue, in the Gladstone Marina Parklands, which weren't created back in 1966.
There are many highlights at the festival - now a five day event - including stage shows every day and night, fireworks, show rides, the famous street parade and
the hugely popular raft race which sees "vessels" of all shapes and sizes pit themselves against each other.
The Observer has been there every year, covering each day's events with photos and with words, and that tradition is not at all likely to change.